The Aces came into today’s game needing to have a must-win mentality, because a loss could spell certain doom. The Aces and Grays split the first four meetings, and this game at Frank Mann was to decide the season series, and which team was to guarantee themselves a playoff spot.
The Aces sent their ace of the staff Gabe Mosser (Shippensburg) to the mound, who had a record of 4-0 on the season. The Aces were also 6-0 in games that Mosser started this season; both are stats that had the Aces feeling confident coming into tonight’s contest.
The Aces wasted no time in the first inning as Brett Netzer (UNC Charlotte) singled and stole second on two consecutive pitches. After an infield single from Alex Stephens (Morehead) moved Netzer up to third the duo pulled off a double steal that gave the Aces a 1-0 heading to the second.
Mosser was dominant on the mound as he held the Grays scoreless through the fourth. The Aces tacked on another run in the bottom half of the fourth on the Malcolm Nachmanoff (Stony Brook) RBI double to center that scored Mike Marcinko (Shippensburg) all the way from first and make the lead 2-0.
After a scoreless fifth Mosser surrendered his first runs of the game on a two RBI double from Lamar Briggs that tied the score at 2-2. The Aces were prepared to answer the bell immediately as they loaded the bases on three straight singles with one out in the bottom of the inning. Two straight strikeouts ended any opportunity and put a serious damper in the Aces moral.
Jake Wersinger (Wilmington) came on in relief of Mosser in the seventh, and worked a scoreless inning to keep the game tied at two. The Aces then went 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the seventh as the score remained 2-2 heading to the eighth.
Wersinger put himself in a hole in the eighth as he committed an error to put runners on first and second with no one out. After a bunt advanced the runners, Mike Caputo hit an RBI single to give the Grays a 3-2 lead. A spectacular play nearly ended the inning, but the Aces missed a double play by half a step, and this then allowed the runner from third to score and extend the Grays lead to 4-2.
The Aces weren’t able to muster anything up against Reid Frazier as he went six up, six down to end the game, and possibly the season for the Aces.
The Aces travel to Bethesda tomorrow to take on the Big Train in the season finale, and a must win game. If the Aces want to make the playoffs they will need a win tomorrow, and a loss from the Herndon Braves. Tomorrow’s game begins at 7:30.
Tonight is a must-win situation for the Aces as they host the D.C. Grays in the penultimate game of the regular season at Frank Mann Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. but fans who cannot make the last home game of the regular season can follow the action on Twitter or on Aces Radio.
After dropping both games of a doubleheader at home last night to the Riverdogs, the Aces now find themselves in a tough situation. Just a half game ahead of the Grays, the Aces are now tied for 3rd in the South division with the Herndon Braves. A win tonight for Alexandria could be enough to get them into the playoffs. But a win for the Grays would give D.C. playoff contention and would send the Aces to the bottom of the standings with only one game left in the season.
The Aces began the season with a 12-1 thrashing of D.C. but since then the series has been all tied up. D.C. won one home and one away matchup to get two wins over the Aces, and Alexandria beat the Grays 5-2 most recently in Anacostia.
The Aces will turn to Gabe Mosser to start on the mound tonight. Mosser (Shippensburg) has been the Aces go-to pitcher this season, pitching in the #1 position all season long. Mosser has a 4-0 record with a 1.58 ERA. He has 34 innings pitched with 25 Ks and 11 walks. His last appearance was a week ago in a 2-1 loss to the Braves.
For the Aces, the season could be decided tonight. Sitting one game behind .500, the Aces need a win in order to extend the season past Friday. So cheer loud and cheer hard for your hometown Aces, playing the final game at Frank Mann of the 2015 CRCBL season.
The matchup that was set to decide second in the Cal Ripken South division went as poorly for the Aces as it could have. The Aces came into today’s double header only a half game behind Vienna for second in the south, and had an opportunity to take a commanding lead heading into the final two games. The Riverdogs (19-18) played the home team in the makeup first game, with the Aces (18-18) playing home in the second and regularly scheduled game both set for seven innings.
In game one the Aces sent Jacob Craver (UNC Charlotte) to face-off against Jordon Accetta. An action packed first inning featured five runs scored between the two clubs, highlighted by RBI singles from Alex Stephens (Morehead), and Tad Sobieszczanski (Hillsdale) giving the Aces a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the inning Craver gave up three runs, although one of the runs was not earned.
We skip ahead to the fifth inning when Ryan McMillen (Shippensburg) crushed a double to score Stephens from first, and tie the game at 3-3. Trouble ensued in the bottom of the sixth as the Riverdogs exploded for six runs on four hits to take a commanding 9-3 lead, and grab the game one win 9-4.
In game two the Aces sent Nick DiEva (Stony Brook) to be the stopper and he did just that. DiEva dominated for five shutout innings allowing just four hits while striking out three, and was in place for a victory.
On offense the Aces backed DiEva up grabbing a 1-0 lead in the second with an unearned run from Sobie. They then doubled the lead in the fifth on an RBI single from Sobie that scored Nick Macy (Wilmington). Unfortunately for the Aces Brett Netzer (UNC Charlotte) was thrown out on the play at home and the score remained 2-0 Aces.
Wade McNabb (Stetson) came on in the sixth in relief, and after striking out the first hitter started to get squeezed by the home plate umpire which then allowed extra opportunities for the Riverdogs as the next three hitters doubled, walked, and were hit by a pitch to load the bases. Brandon Justice (Charlotte) then came on in relief to try and keep the Dogs off the board. Justice was unable to do so as a wild pitch allowed the first run of the game for the Dogs and cut the lead to 2-1.
The Aces didn’t muster up any offense in the bottom of the sixth which set the stage for Justice to close things out. Justice however ended up throwing his worst inning of the season allowing two earned runs, blowing the save, and giving the Dogs a 3-2 lead.
The Riverdogs then turned to the best pitcher in the Cal Ripken League in Jack Gomersall to close things out, and get the save. The Aces loaded the bases on a walk, catcher interference, and an error to put the winning run on second base with one out. Gomersall struck out the next two batters to close out the game and give the Dogs the sweep of the Aces in the double header.
Stay tuned as the Aces return to Frank Mann in their final home game of the regular season against the DC Grays starting at 7 pm. This is a must win for the Aces as the Grays could clinch the season series against the Aces, and guarantee to be ahead of the Aces come Friday night.
|After splitting a doubleheader with the Giants and Big Train last night in Alexandria, the Aces will play the final doubleheader of the season tonight at Frank Mann Field. The Aces host the Vienna Riverdogs with first pitches set for 4:30 and 7 p.m. Aces fans can follow the action on Twitter or tune in to Aces Radio.
The Aces (18-18) came out hot against the Giants in Game 1 of the doubleheader and beat Gaithersburg 9-1. However, Alexandria missed several chances to put the game away against Bethesda and had to go 10 innings, eventually falling 7-4.
The Riverdogs lead the season series 2-1 after taking game one 4-2 back on June 6th, then taking game two of a DH on July 16th. These two games today will most likely determine where the Aces and Riverdogs land in the playoffs, as Alexandria comes into this game just a half game back on Vienna.
Jacob Craver will take the mound for the Aces in game one. Craver, a sophomore from UNC-Charlotte, has 10 appearances for the Aces this season, but tonight will be his first start. He has 13.1 innings pitched with 10 Ks and nine walks. Craver’s longest outing this season is 2.2 innings, so tonight will be a big test in his first start.
Nick DiEva is the Aces probable pitcher for game two. DiEva (Stony Brook) has a 1-2 record and a 3.85 ERA but has been one of the Aces’ best pitchers this year. With 23.1 innings pitched, DiEva has fanned 17 batters and walked only five. Tonight will be his fifth start of the season.
The Riverdogs will start Jack Gomersall on the mound for game one. Gomersall (VMI) is probably the best starting pitcher in the CRCBL. With a 5-1 record and a 0.45 ERA, Gomersall leads the league in wins and in ERA. He has given up two earned runs on 24 hits in 40 innings pitched for the Riverdogs. Gomersall pitched seven scoreless innings for Vienna the first time these two teams met.
Vienna will start Jordan Accetta for the second game. Accetta, a junior from Wofford College, is also an extremely dominant pitcher. He has 49.1 IP in eight appearances and is second in the CRCBL with 38 Ks. Accetta has given up 34 hits and 17 earned runs, so the Aces may be able to get some offense going off of Accetta.
A rarity occurred at Frank Mann field today as the Alexandria Aces played two different teams on the same day. For the double header the Aces faced the Gaithersburg Giants in game one, and the Bethesda Big Train in game two.
For game one the Aces sent Billy Lescher (Penn) to the mound who was dominant in his start on Tuesday afternoon. He shut down the Giants over four innings only allowing two hits while striking out one, and lowering his season ERA to 2.00.
On offense the Aces wasted no time as Tad Sobieszczanski (Hillsdale) roped a two RBI single to left field to score Brett Netzer (UNC Charlotte) and Danny Pardo (Campbell), and give the Aces a 2-0 lead after one. The Aces tacked on two more runs in the third highlighted by the Pardo RBI double, and extend the lead to 4-0.
Trevor Eulenbach (Weatherford) pitched two innings in relief after Lescher’s solid start to pick up the win. Eulenbach did allow a run in the sixth with two outs as his line for the night read two innings allowing one run on one hit while striking out three.
After exploding for five runs in the fifth inning the Aces turned to Joe Smidt (Nebraska Kearney) in the seventh who tossed a 1-2-3 frame to close out the Giants, and give the Aces a 9-1 victory in game one.
For game two the Aces went a bit off script as they sent Griffin Harms (Wayne St) to the mound for the first start of his career. This spot start couldn’t have gone worse as Harms only lasted 1/3 of an inning allowing three runs on zero hits. After he was chased the Aces turned to Matt Doughty (Virginia) to hold down the fort for a while, and keep the Aces in the game. Doughty was able to work into the fourth inning and only allow one run three hits in three and one third innings of work with striking out two.
On offense the Aces struggled early, but jumped on an opportunity in the third when Big Train starter, Alex Calvert, walked the bases loaded. RBI’s from Mike Marcinko (Shippensburg), and Sobieszczanski cut the lead to 3-2, and a walk from Ryan McMillen (Shippensburg) loaded the bases back up with two outs. Two wild pitches from reliever Walker Sheller allowed the Aces to take a 4-3 lead after three.
After Doughty allowed the tying run in the fourth Brandon Justice (Charleston), and Wade McNabb (Stetson) combined for two and a third scoreless innings pitched to keep the score tied at 4 runs a piece.
Kyle Menchaca (Wilmington) came on in the seventh inning and was brilliant tossing a shutout inning to give the Aces a chance to win the game. The Aces had an opportunity to win the game in the seventh but left a man on third after two straight strikeouts.
After a quick eighth inning by both teams, Menchaca fired his third scoreless inning of work in the top of the ninth. Thee Aces loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning, but a double play on a line drive ended any chance in an instant.
That took all wind out of the sails of the Aces as the Big Train scored three runs in the top of the tenth off of Mike Torres (Wilmington). A Danny Pardo double was all the Aces mustered up in the bottom of the inning as the Big Train left Alexandria with a 7-4 victory.
Tune-in tomorrow as the Aces stay home, and play a crucial double header against division rival Vienna starting at 4:30.